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El Paso Migrant Center Shuts Down Following Drop In Arrivals; British Home Secretary Quits, Rips Truss Government; Pence Talks Future Plans, Whether He'd Vote For Trump. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 20, 2022 - 05:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. Capitol Police say an 80-year-old man now faces weapons charges after his van was found illegally parked near the Supreme Court.

Authorities say Tony Payne, of Tunnel Hill, Georgia, admitted he had guns in the vehicle. It turns out he had two handguns, a shotgun, and unregistered ammunition, all banned on the U.S. Capitol grounds. Payne claimed he was there to deliver documents.

A man and a woman inside the vehicle were questioned by police but not charged.

There's been a significant drop in the number of asylum seekers pouring through the border town of El Paso, Texas -- so much so the city has decided to shut down its migrant center. Some officials credit the governor's controversial shipping of asylum seekers to cities like New York; others attribute the decline to the Biden administration's Return to Mexico policy.

Stefano Pozzebon has more from Bogota, Colombia.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: Thousands of migrants, most of the Venezuelans, are finding themselves stranded in Mexico, in part because of a recent decision from the White House to expand Title 42 to Venezuelans. The measure allows U.S. Border Patrol to deport back into Mexico undocumented migrants that are found on U.S. soil on public health ground.

But these migrants who are traveling from South America through Mexico trying to reach the U.S. southern border are saying that their lives are now in limbo as their plans to relocate to the United States have been broken by this new policy. Some of them are thinking of remaining in Mexico where already, 77,000 Venezuelans live and work every day, according to the Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard.

In the Mexican cities along the U.S. southern border, such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and Matamoros, as well as cities in the southern state of Chiapas -- have seen the largest movement of migrants in recent days.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon.


ROMANS: All right.

The causeway connecting Sanibel Island to the Florida mainland now open for the first time since Hurricane Ian washed a chunk of it away. Governor Ron DeSantis credits a 100-person crew that clocked 36,000 hours over the past two weeks temporarily restoring the critical artery.

All right, more turmoil for the U.K.'s new prime minister. Calls grow louder for Liz Truss to quit.

And Mike Pence asked if he would vote for Donald Trump in 2024.


MIKE PENCE, (R) FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There might be somebody else I'd prefer more.




ROMANS: All right. British Prime Minister Liz Truss' government in even more turmoil this morning after her home secretary resigned just seven weeks into the job.

CNN's Scott McLean live in London for us with more. I mean, to say she's in more trouble this morning, I didn't think you could get in more trouble than Liz Truss has been. Can she survive all this?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The odds are starting to look pretty stacked against her at this point, Christine. Even her new home secretary suggested not long ago that Liz Truss has an Everest to climb in order to save her own job. She just cannot seem to catch a break.

Yesterday, as you mentioned, her home secretary resigned. This is one of the most senior positions in the cabinet. And ostensibly, this was over a rather administrative error, but she took some pretty heavy swipes at the government on her way out, criticizing its commitments to its own policies and then taking a -- I wouldn't even call a thinly-veiled swipe. She -- this was some grade-A trolling in her resignation letter.

I'll read you part of it. It said, "The business of government relies upon people accepting responsibility for their mistakes. Pretending we haven't made mistakes, carrying on as if everyone can't see that we have made them, and hoping that things will magically come right is not serious politics. I have made a mistake; I accept responsibility, I resign."

Even after that, though, Christine, there was even more chaos, this time in Parliament over a vote that the government had told its MPs to vote against or risk being booted from their own party.

Opposition lawmakers say that in the voting lobbies, lawmakers go to a separate lobby to vote for or against bills. And in the voting no lobby, opposition lawmakers say that they witnessed conservative MPs shouting, bullying -- even physically manhandling their colleagues to get them to vote with the government. Ultimately, they did manage to vote down that legislation.

But this is what one conservative MP, who has already been critical of Liz Truss, had to say about the whole affair afterwards.


CHARLES WALKER, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: I'm livid and, you know, I really shouldn't say this but I hope all those people that put Liz Truss in number 10 -- I hope it was worth it. If it was worth it for the ministerial red box. I hope it was worth it to sit round the cabinet table because the damage they have done to our party is extraordinary.


MCLEAN: So, 33 conservative lawmakers did not vote at all, as they were supposed to. And so, now the British Press Association is reporting that they will potentially face disciplinary action from their own party if they don't have a good excuse. So again, one more sign, Christine, that Liz Truss seems to be losing control of her own government.

ROMANS: And quickly, I mean, is there more stability in markets at least? I mean, remember, her early plans crashed the pound and caused all kinds of chaos in the -- in the debt markets.


MCLEAN: Yes. So, the pound took another hit yesterday on news of this chaos. Of course, as you well know, Christine, markets like stability and this doesn't look like stability.

Even the foreign secretary said just the other day that look, we need to look like we're interested in people's problems right now given inflation and given all of the problems with the cost of energy. And if we are playing these political games and trying to potentially boot our own leader, it doesn't look like we're actually looking out for people's interest.

So there is a growing sense that the Conservative Party needs to either rip the Band-Aid off and get a new leader or very quickly get behind Liz Truss and try to right the ship. But it is looking more and more difficult to actually do that, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Scott McLean. We know you'll keep following it for us. Thank you.

Mike Pence hinting at his own plans for 2024 while speaking at Georgetown University last night. The former vice president taking questions from students and displaying the art of the dodge.


STUDENT: Mr. Pence, if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president in 2024, will you vote for him?


PENCE: Well, there might be somebody else I'd prefer more.



PENCE: You know, what I can tell you is I have every confidence that the Republican Party is going to sort out leadership. All my focus has been on the midterm elections and it will stay that way for the next 20 days. But after that, we'll be thinking about the future -- ours and the nations.

I can tell you whatever the future holds for me and for Karen Pence, it will be our desire just to reflect at the right time -- maybe in the months ahead -- to determine what our calling is, and we'll follow that calling come what may.


ROMANS: I don't know. Pence is widely speculated to be laying the groundwork for a 2024 run. He has made frequent visits to early primary states, giving speeches and campaigning with Republican candidates in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

All right, next, big questions about Bed Bath & Beyond, and what could be the real reason gas prices are dropping.



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning, eight. That's how many cents gas prices have dropped in just the past week -- eight cents. A gallon of regular down a penny again overnight, just hours after President Biden said he will release more oil from the nation's emergency stockpile.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me repeat. Gas prices come down and they continue to come down again. They're now down more than 27 cents a gallon in Wisconsin this past week, 27 cents in Oregon, 16 cents in Ohio, 25 cents in Nevada, 17 cents in Indiana in just the last 10 days, and that's progress. But they're not falling fast enough.


ROMANS: Here's a crude reality of gas prices in America. Politicians take credit when they go down. They also get the blame when prices go up. But for the most part, our leaders often have little to do with these price changes. Will President Biden's move keep prices down or at least keep them from rising? We just don't know.

We do know a big factor in the recent price surge was refineries shutting down. An explosion shut down a refinery near Toledo, Ohio last month. Other refineries closed for regular maintenance. Now, a number of west coast refineries are back online, triggering a plunge in gas prices west of the Rocky Mountains and driving down the national average.

All right, now to stock markets around the world. Asian markets lower as Chinese stocks hit multi-year lows. Investors concerned about China's rising COVID cases and the gloomy economic outlook there.

On Wall Street, stock index futures, right now, are narrowly mixed. Stocks shrugged off strong corporate earnings yesterday. The Dow fell nearly 100 points. The S&P and the Nasdaq snapped a 2-day rally.

Rising mortgage rates dampened new home building. Home building retreated in September as housing cools.

And we will get a new read on layoffs in America in a little more than two hours.

All right, take that, Christmas creep. Three major retail chains -- Walmart, Target, and Best Buy -- will again close their doors on Thanksgiving Day. It's a practice many companies started in 2020 in response to the pandemic.

Walmart's CEO says turkey day shopping is becoming a thing of the past. And last year, Target announced stores would close on Thanksgiving permanently.

A lot of very familiar stores may not be open at all much longer unless their fortunes turn around, and quickly.

CNN retail reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn joins us. Good morning, Nathaniel.


ROMANS: Let's start with Bed Bath & Beyond. S&P downgraded its credit rating and its outlook is negative. What is happening there?

MEYERSOHN: So, Bed Bath & Beyond has really slipped over the past few years. The company has not kept up with the way that customers want to shop. You visit their stores -- they're cluttered. The service and staffing levels are not great. It's not the place you think of when you want to shop online. And in the hypercompetitive retail industry where customers have so many options -- Walmart, Amazon, Target, Costco -- that's just not going to cut it.

So the company is facing a make-or-break holiday season. If the company struggles during the holidays, analysts I spoke to say that the risk of a bankruptcy jumps --


MEYERSOHN: -- in 2023.

ROMANS: What about the state of retail overall? I mean, things have changed so much in the past few years and clearly, Bed Bath & Beyond hasn't kept up with those changes. But what about the state of retail overall?

MEYERSOHN: So, it's been a surprisingly strong couple of years for retailers. You think back before the pandemic. The major storyline was the retail apocalypse -- store closures, bankruptcies, Amazon crushing retailers.

But then a funny thing happened during the pandemic. People wanted to shop. They wanted to refresh their wardrobes, buy new furniture. And then they weren't traveling and going out to movies and going out to eat. So that lifted the retail sector and you saw really strong sales and profits last year.


Today, the picture is much different. Inflation has pinched consumers' wallets. Companies are dealing with this inventory glut -- excess inventory. Their costs are rising and so we're starting to see layoffs. And the state of the retail sector is much different right now and it's struggling.

ROMANS: Yes. There's so much energy in travel and entertainment. People will just spend, spend, spend on travel and entertainment, but p.j. sets, no more. They got enough of those during the pandemic.

Aside from Bed Bath & Beyond, any other retailers in trouble here?

MEYERSOHN: Right. So if we start to see consumers continue to pull back because of inflation and perhaps we see a recession coming up, that's going to put retailers that are already struggling at risk. So some of the names that we could see file for bankruptcy next year include JoAnn Fabric, Party City, Rite Aid, and Tuesday Morning. So, already struggling retailers.

And one of the things that these retailers have in common, for the most part, is they're selling discretionary items and they're catering to lower- and middle-income shoppers. So those are the companies most at risk.

ROMANS: Quickly, I want to leave with you on this idea of Black Friday. It used to be one day when you would buy all the stuff. It's pretty much going to be Black Friday until Christmas, isn't it?

MEYERSOHN: It's been Black Friday for a month already, Christine. ROMANS: I know.

MEYERSOHN: The companies don't need Black Friday to juice their sales. They have it for a couple of months. And so, the holiday shopping season is so much different than it used to be.

ROMANS: Yes. One of our floor managers was asking me should I wait to buy a T.V. on Black Friday. I was like I think if you find a deal but it today, right, or wait until later this year, too.

All right, nice to see you, Nathaniel Meyersohn. Nice to see you.

All right. Ahead, Russia's Vladimir Putin trying to crack down in Ukrainian regions where his own troops are retreating. And President Biden about to hit the campaign trail in battleground Pennsylvania.



ROMANS: Some hopeful news in the battle around greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are on track to rise less than one percent this year despite concerns about a rush back to coal, oil and gas -- coal, oil, and gas amid a global energy crunch on Russia's war on Ukraine.

The International Energy Agency says electric vehicles and an uptick of renewables are responsible for the surprisingly small increase.

All right, the Astros remain undefeated in the baseball playoffs over their win -- after their win over the Yankees last night.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, good morning.


Well, these two have been the best in the American League --


MANNO: -- all season long, right, so this kind of felt inevitable. A third ALC -- a showdown in the last six years.

But after a decisive fifth game against Cleveland on Tuesday night, the Yankees didn't arrive in Houston until early yesterday morning. They had to start the series that same day, so you thought it was going to be tough.

I mean, that's a really difficult task no matter who you are facing, but especially when it's Cy Young Award-winner Justin Verlander, the favorite to do it again. The 39-year-old striking out 11 over six innings, and his offense took over from there.

Yuli Gurriel lining one into the Crawford Boxes in left, giving Houston the 2-1 lead. And then a batter later, it was Chas McCormick who went the other way for the solo shot. So the Astros win it 4-2. They are now 4-0 in this year's playoffs. No rest for the weary. Game two is tonight.

And for the first time ever, a pitcher had to go up against his brother in a playoff game. How about this? Aaron Nola throwing to his brother Austin and Austin getting the better of his younger brother this time around, lining an RBI single to right-center. That was the start of a 5-run rally by the Padres in the fifth. Brandon Drury putting the Padres ahead for good with a 2-run single to center.

San Diego rallies for the 8-5 win. They even the series at one. And game three is in Philly tomorrow night.

In the NBA now, the Suns welcomed the Mavs to Phoenix, who blew them out in game seven of the playoffs by 33 only five months ago. Dallas led this one by 22, but Phoenix came storming back. Damion Lee driving, pulling up a tough fall-away jumper, getting it to go. And then, the Suns' lead was cut by two. Luka Doncic had one last chance for this -- a long three that would come up just short.

The Suns win it by two. It's the team's 10th-straight regular-season win over Dallas.

Zion Williamson back with the Pelicans after missing all of last season with a broken foot, and looked stronger than ever. Huge post move to get the layout and the foul. That's what you want to see. In the fourth quarter, he would get a nice little feed and throw down the jam. Twenty-five points and nine rebounds for him as the Pelicans go into Brooklyn. They route the Nets 130-108.

A rough debut for Ben Simmons and these Nets. They just cannot get it together. Four points and five rebounds before fouling out in the fourth.

We have a big double-header tonight on our sister network TNT. It's the Bucks and Sixers at 7:30 eastern, followed by the battle of L.A. between the Lakers and the Clippers.

And one other item for you this morning. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa preparing to return to the field after a frightening concussion scare, parts of which he says he does not even remember. So I'm going to have more on that coming up on "NEW DAY," Christine, in just a couple of minutes, hearing from the quarterback.

ROMANS: We'll look for that. That was really troubling to watch and causing a lot of consternation in the -- in the NFL.

Thanks so much.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.